Gaza report to go to UN Security Council

Ban Ki-moon to bring a U.N. report on war crimes in the Gaza Strip during Israeli war before SC.

Gaza report to go to UN Security Council


Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, has said that he is to pass the Goldstone report that alleges Israeli and Palestinian war crimes during the former's offensive on the Gaza Strip to the UN Security Council.

"As requested by the General Assembly, I will transmit the report to the Security Council," Ban said on Friday, a day after the 192-member assembly UN General Assembly voted in favour of resolution endorsing a UN-sponsored report.

"I will do it as soon as possible," Ban, who is required by UN procedures to comply with the assembly's request, said.

The Goldstone report lambasted Israel in the war, which killed up to 1,434 Palestinians, a third of them civilians, and 13 Israelis but was harsher toward Israel. It gave Israel and Palestinian Hamas six months to mount credible investigations or face possible prosecution in The Hague.

Israel has criticized the report as unbalanced and says the 47-nation Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report, is "biased" against the Jewish state.

It accuses both Israel and Hamas of war crimes, and was endorsed by the assembly on Thursday by a margin of 114 to 18, after two days of debate.

"...targeting Gaza civilians"

The report, which was compiled by a panel led by Richard Goldstone, a South African judge, had already been endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council, which sponsored the fact-finding commission.

The report concluded that Israel used disproportionate force in the war, deliberately targeting Gaza civilians, using them as human shields, and destroying civilian infrastructure.

The non-binding resolution passed on Thursday by the General Assembly asked Ban to pass the report to the UN Security Council.

However, diplomats have said that the five permanent members of the 15-member Security Council have signalled that they are opposed to council involvement - meaning that it is unlikely that the 15-nation body would take action.

Despite European Union aspirations to a common foreign policy, the 27-nation bloc was badly split over the assembly resolution. Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia voted against it.

Ireland, Portugal, Malta, Slovenia and Cyprus voted in favor while others, including Britain and France, abstained.

Israel rejects UN assembly vote on Gaza war

Israel on Friday rejected a U.N. General Assembly resolution urging an investigation into a report saying war crimes were committed in Gaza, and condemned the world body vote as "completely detached from realities".

In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in response to Thursday's vote that Israel "maintains the right to self-defence", and would "continue to act to protect the lives of its citizens from the threat of international terrorism".

"Israel rejects the resolution of the U.N. General Assembly, which is completely detached from realities on the ground that Israel must face," the Foreign Ministry statement issued by spokesman Yigal Palmor said.

Palmor also maintained that Israel had "demonstrated higher military and moral standards than each and every one of this resolution's instigators", during the war in December in which more than 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.


Agencies

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Kasım 2009, 15:01
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